Monday, May 23, 2016

Business Growth: 7 steps towards ejecting yourself from that "comfort zone"

Comfort zones…… 


Easy, relaxed, secure, content, comfortable, no anxiety, relief, certain…… Inside our boat despite the raging storms around… We are used to the conditions in here. We know how to get around…. We are used to the system…And we have learned to make do. 

After all, the alternative may result in discomfort, rejection, failure, uncertainty, loss, pain, etc. We better remain within our comfort zones. But does that not leave us in a state of learned helplessness when we know very well that any discoveries/ developments only happen outside the comfort zone?

The comfort zones could be our current jobs, businesses, relationships, circumstances, a system we rely on, a process etc. We are secure and comfortable and would not consider stepping out despite the billowing wind as we want to avoid failure. Leaving may be the scariest but most rewarding step you'll ever take!

Stay with me for the next few minutes as we go through a case study as to how one person got themselves out of a comfort zone. It gets scary taking major leaps but I believe that by the end of the study, we will have already exited from the boat…….

Matthew 14: 22-32
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 
 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,
24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  

30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
Let us follow the steps with Peter …….  

Evaluate your current situation
Forget about your own interpretation of the comfort. Is it not dark and windy just like Peters’ dark night? Aren’t you having a difficult time managing the wind and darkness?  Maybe you are not progressing. 

Could you be passing the blame to someone or a circumstance?  Could you be rationalizing the situation thus masking the reality? Aren’t you already sick and tired?  Peter was and when an opportune moment came, he lifted his head out of his circumstance and allowed himself to……..

2.    Dream Big Dreams
Peter saw Jesus walking on water and  an opportunity just presented itself to go against nature and  dream BIG – WATER CATWALK.  

When you look out of your boat, what opportunity can you see that is so big, challenging, exciting, worthwhile or  overwhelming that  you feel like  quitting  before you even begin? Set aside the fear and write out that goal as if it has already happened.  

But again, you just don’t jump out. Conduct some research and put together information regarding that goal- what does it entail, what do you need to do /Who do you need to achieve it? Who else has successfully taken that path and what were their experiences? 

Peter Did. He first had to establish that it was Jesus calling out. What about borrowing from previous success stories? I am sure Peter must have been reliving the events of the day before when he witnessed the miraculous feeding of more than 5000 people from five loaves and two fish! 

Put together an action plan but remember that it does not have to be elaborate. You will perfect/ adjust the plan as you “water walk”. Peter’s costume was “Lord, if it is [really] you, tell me to come to you on the water”. 

Take advice from an anonymous quote that “If every obstacle must first be overcome, nothing will ever get done.”

 In case you are not used to leaps, it is advisable to take baby steps. Push the boundaries bit by bit whilst keeping in mind that staying in the boat is no assurance that you are safe, it only guarantees you will eventually die from something else. Is it not better to………..

3.    Engage your faith gear, Eject from the boat and Drive into the unknown?
In this faith drive, there are no guarantees of success but you will come across plentiful AHA moments. What about making and breaking records! 

The last time I checked, many swimming records have been broken but no one has broken Peter’s   unaided “Water Walking” record! While setting this record, Peter would advise that you….. 

4.     Take a friend with you…Engage a coach or mentor
There is an African proverb which says that if what to move fast, go alone but when you want to go far, move with others. A friend is   a great source of assistance, courage, inspiration and feedback.

A mentor can help you identify gaps, refine strategies, change tact, hold you to account, help you persevere when the going is tough…...  Yes…...  You get a lot more from a mentor friend… 

When Peter started “seeing the waves”, he called out to Jesus who extended his hand and promptly saved him from drowning. Which leads us to something worth noting……..

5.    Expect doubts, challenges, obstacles, setbacks but focus on your vision
The one thing to be crystal clear about is your target and what it means to you, your significant others and your circumstances. When the going gets tough, focus on that expected result to assist you weather the storm. 

It is when Peter stopped focusing on Jesus walking on water that he “saw the waves', doubt/ fear set in and he started sinking.  The waves were there all the while. 

Remember growth, new challenges and fear/doubt come as a package and get psychologically ready.

Get into the habit of taking risks and the ultimate benefit is that each time you risk leaving the boat and you do not drown, the fear component declines but then again factor in……

6.    Failure….. It is part of the game
Be ready to make as many attempts until success comes knocking. Failing doesn't make you a failure, quitting does. 

We sometimes learn through failure just as Winston Churchill must have learned when he reckoned that, 'I've never failed at anything in my life. I was simply given another opportunity to get it right.'

Peter was sinking. Whereas we are not told whether his colleagues criticized him or  not, you can bet what those left in the boat were saying. “Yeah… Let him sink…He is such a hothead…, Didn’t we tell him not to step out…., He thinks he is a smart Alek…, Let us see how he gets himself out of this fine mess… etc. etc. etc..”  

Peter was sinking but he   was not sunk.  He called out for help  and then  continued on with his euphoric “water walk” that must have changed him forever – Note that he  did not concentrate on the fact that he was sinking (problem), he concentrated on the solution.

He had also learned another lesson- that if he sank, Jesus would be there to save him. No wonder, that soon after denying Jesus thrice when he needed him most, he still ran to the tomb when Mary informed the disciples that the tomb was empty.

 He knew that he could fail, dust himself, self-correct and rise again! 

Moreover, he had just expanded his comfort zone. He was comfortable in the boat and in the water as well. Is it any wonder that he was left in charge of the Church!

The failures were those left in the boat comfort zone-the greatest enemy of your potential!  Talking of the comfort zone, take heed….

7.     You are likely to get back to the comfort zone
The last verse tells us that when Peter and Jesus got back into the boat, the wind ceased. Now that you are likely to be enjoying great successes, you are likely to slip back into a “new comfort zone”.  It is advisable to keep rocking the boat every so often instead of waiting for a storm…….

Over  to you- Passionate Entrepreneur;
  •   Which is your current comfort zone?
  •   What are you doing / plan to do about it?
  •   How else can we get out of comfort zones?

Share your experiences with the other Passionate Entrepreneurs us in the comments section below.

Whatever you do, make sure it results in less work, more money and positive impact.


Update

Virginia Mburu
The Work Less, Make More Money Passionate Entrepreneurs Coach

Virginia empowers and motivates Passionate Entrepreneurs to realize their purpose and pursue it. She then assists the entrepreneurs to clarify, prioritise and focus on management and marketing strategies and action plans that will get them to work less, make more money and positively impact within one year.    Download some of her gifts- absolutely free lessons on www.biasharacoach.blogspot.co.ke